Difference Between Cations And Anions

An atom or molecule whose net electrical charge is non zero is called an ion. The charge of an electron is equal and opposite to the charge of protons. Therefore the net charge of an ion is non-zero. The positively charged ion is called cation. It has fewer electrons when compared to protons. The negatively charged ion is called cation. It has more electrons when compared to protons.

Cations And Anions

An anion is an ion that carries a negative (-ve) charge. It causes itself to migrate to the anode or positive (+ve) electrode during electrolysis. It has fewer protons when compared to electrons, which results in a negative charge. They are non-metals.

A cation is an ion that carries a positive (+ve) charge. It causes itself to migrate to the cathode or negative (-ve) electrode during electrolysis. It has fewer electrons when compared to protons, which results in a positive charge. They are metals.

Difference between anions and cations:

Below we have discussed some important differences between cations and anions.

Anion Cation
Negative charge ion Positive charge ion
The name is derived from a Greek word “ano” which means Up The name is derived from a Greek word “Kata” which means Down
It migrates towards anode during electrolysis It migrates towards cathode during electrolysis
The element type is non-metal The element type is metal
Oxide, chloride, sulfide, fluoride Lead,Iron, Sodium
Chemical formula examples: H, Cl, F Chemical formula examples: Na+, Pb2+, Fe2+

Representing cations and anions in a chemical formula:

Whenever we write the chemical formula of a compound, the cation should be listed before the anion.

Example, the chemical formula of sodium chloride is written as NaCl where the sodium atom is the cation and the chlorine atom is the anion.

If you like this article and interested to know other chemistry concepts like the plum pudding model by JJ Thomson, different chemical reactions, Galvanic Cell, etc. visit BYJU’S. An online course where experts conduct classes with 3D/ Graphical images, videos and help you understand the concepts thoroughly.

For a better understanding of various other chemistry concepts, you can subscribe to BYJU’S YouTube channel and learn in a more engaging way